I enjoy being in Direct Sales as well as an Internet Marketer because as a Direct Sales Consultant I can provide individualized service to my customers. I have an even greater opportunity to build lasting relationships as they get to know, like and trust me and see that I care about them as individuals. I’ve been fortunate to have customers who have been supporting my business for over 11 years.
I also like to support other Consultants in Direct Sales, but have found that on many occasions I meet a Consultant at a Party or Show, hosted by a mutual friend, and purchase something from them but never hear from them again.
This is not a post to critique anyone, but to highlight that this is an area many of us may need to work on. I have been guilty of this as well as from time to time I’ve received calls from someone who said, “I’ve been searching for your card as my product was finished and I just found it…” or, “I wish you had you label on the products so I’d be able to call you without having to search for your card”. Two very important steps I neglected to do.
Most business owners, including Direct Sales Consultants, recognize the importance of cultivating and maintaining good relationships with their customers. At the same time, many overlook the need to follow-up after the sale or service. Here are three reasons that could hold then back from following-up, but these three reasons are some of the very ones why follow-up is so important to your success.
1) AFRAID OF APPEARING “PUSHY”: Persons involved in Direct Sales often seem to be overly-concerned about this. Keep in mind that there is a difference between being pushy and being proactive. I feel very appreciated when someone from whom I purchased an item calls to see how I liked the item, or sends me a Thank You card. Wouldn’t you? And, if during the follow-up call she mentions that one of the ways she grows her business is by referrals, why would I be offended? I would be happy to refer my friends or family to someone who cares enough to follow-up.
2) MULTI-TASKING/WORKLOAD – Entrepreneurs often carry a weighty responsibility and have to multi-task as the Owner, the Salesperson, the Marketing Department, etc. In addition, many Direct Sales Consultants work their business on a part-time basis and have a full-time job to handle, as well as other responsibilities. However, customers are WHY they got into business and WHY they stay in business. It may be necessary to analyze if productivity would be enhanced by hiring someone to assist with less essential tasks so that the focus can be on where it’s required most.
Having someone else do certain tasks was something I resisted for years, until I came to appreciate that I do not have to personally put labels on my products; my filing can be done by someone else and having someone keep my database updated was of tremendous value. Not only would I know who to call, but when to follow-up, who to send an Anniversary Card to, and if you send other cards, when to send them. This latter point is one of the best way to keep your customers loyal to you because you show that you truly care about them as individuals.
3) FEAR OF NEGATIVE FEEDBACK – Are you afraid to call your customers after a sale or service because you may get a negative response? They may not like the product and want to return it? Great! You would rather know so you can cheerfully exchange it or refund their money, wouldn’t you? Or would you prefer your customer to tell as many friends as will listen that she purchased something from you and she was sorry she did because…Would it not be better to know what their concerns are right away so that these can be addressed? And if customers are happy, you would want to cherish this relationship. This connection could also be the perfect opportunity to ask for a testimonial or referral?
As Direct Sales Consultants we hesitate to ask for testimonials. A Coach has no hesitation about asking for testimonials; a Trainer or Teacher has no hesitation asking for testimonials, why should you?
Do you send a “Thank You” card to your customers after a purchase, even your long-time, loyal customers? Some persons do this after each sale, others do this at the end of each month. I use an online greeting card service that allows me to send physical cards from my computer that are delivered through the US Mail. Whichever method you chose, work at doing it consistently as it’s critical to your business success.
How do you keep in touch with you customers? Please share so we can all benefit.